By: Lydia Crow
No sooner had the Conservative manifesto been published, than there was a retraction – sorry, a clarification – of policy relating to our more elderly nearest and dearest. Even some of the more right-wing newspapers paused in their left-bashing to report on the #DementiaTax. At the point of writing this, it looks like there might be a retraction of the retraction; so it’s anyone’s guess what the Conservatives’ actual policy is. Theresa May: everyone’s (least) favourite merry-go-round.
I have an enormous amount of respect for those who work in our healing and health professions: doctors, nurses, everyone. Having said that, though, I’m not in the camp which believes we all need to bow down and worship them. I don’t think it gives them a free pass at opinion any more than anyone else gets a free pass (note, we all get free passes in Britain: though the way the country’s going, you should probably make the most of your free opinion pass while you still can). They are humans, just like the rest of us; they deserve respect, just like the rest of us. (At the other end of the work scale, I have a similar reaction to those in the Armed Forces: more than one of my friends have had to listen to my reasoning that the concept of ‘Help for Heroes’, while being utterly admirable, is linguistically flawed.)
Regardless of all this, Twitter erupted last night in some pretty disgusting nurse-bashing after the #LeadersDebate. I didn’t watch the debate (I was finally getting round to watching Star Trek Beyond), but I was aware of the fact that some watchers thought there may have been a suspect nurse on the programme, within seconds of logging into Twitter later in the evening.
I don’t personally care whether she is guilty as charged of visiting a foodbank whilst in possession of a horse (legal possession, that is, though Twitter wasn’t entirely clear on that: I presume she didn’t turn up to the foodbank with a horse). If anyone abuses the good faith of those who contribute to and run foodbanks, that’s on their conscience. I care, though, that people have to visit foodbanks in the first place (regardless of whether they dye their hair or have the audacity to go on holiday). That, I care about a lot.
I moved to Edinburgh at the start of 2014, earning not far off £30k. I’d just moved in, paid a month’s rent and a deposit, and had used up the last of my savings. I was still settling debts due to a previous relationship, with payments that whittled through pretty much the rest of my spare cash. One of my younger sisters ordered me a surprise supermarket delivery because she knew I was tight for cash. A friend slipped £10 into a letter, “for emergencies”. We all have these friends and family members who do this for us, don’t we? No. Only if we’re fortunate. I use this example merely to demonstrate that assumptions are flawed: and nobody deserves trial by social media.
I get it, I really do: the media is biased, and it is frustrating when certain comments seem like a put-up job. But seriously? Take the moral high ground. Which means not descending into shaming people you don’t even know online.
From the far-from-sublime to the far-past-ridiculous. Ever wondered why you couldn’t afford to buy a house? Well it turns out it’s not the economic realities of living in twenty-first century Conservative Britain – it’s avocado toast. If you don’t believe me, ask Tim Gurner.